Money Personality

When my husband and I first got married over three decades ago, I remember how difficult it was to talk to him about money.  We were so different. Often, when I would bring up an idea for something that I wanted to do that involved money, he seemed to shut me down.

I would react defensively and say something that I’d later regret.  It was terrible!  The worst part is that my daughters would sometimes witness this.  It caused so much pain in our marriage. 

Can you relate?  According to a survey by Sun Trust Bank, money is the leading cause of stress in relationships.  Even though divorce rates are falling, nearly 40% of all marriages are dissolved before a couple reaches their 10th anniversary.

In addition, one study found that women’s household income falls 41% after a separation or divorce, which is more than twice as much as men’s income.

I was NOT thinking about divorce, but there was a lot of money stress, which was not good for us, or for our daughters. 

Thank goodness my dear husband, Mark, and I finally got a handle on this, because we just celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary, and we couldn’t be happier. 

Financially, I’m also very grateful we worked this out because we are now headed into retirement with our home and equity intact. 

So how did we get from where we were to where we are now? 

Today I’m going to share the 5 money personalities and why you want to know yours, how your limiting beliefs were formed, and the ways they affect you today.

About 10 years ago, I began teaching a course that included money personalities.  Before I knew it, I had taken over 100 women through my money personality and healing session where we not only identified their core limiting belief around money, and how it is affecting their finances, relationships, health, and happiness, but in each case, we literally cleared that belief once and for all. 

This is what Pam Campbell said after her session…

“Two very significant things have shifted for me since my money personality session with Katana –my relationship with money and my relationship with my mother. In our session, we identified my “Security” money personality. Katana skillfully led me to the early childhood experience with my mother which was the root cause of my belief in scarcity. She helped me identify where this experience resided in my body, and I was able to release it. I now have a newfound sense of security, regardless of external circumstances. I have begun to spend money differently, choosing things that really feed my soul.” 

You see our beliefs around money affect every area of our life.  Each of us has beliefs that were formed when we were very young from things we observed, were told, or experienced.  Those beliefs were often false, but ended up forming our core limiting beliefs that we carry with us throughout life.

There are five money personalities:  

  • Love
  • Recognition
  • Status
  • Security
  • Value

This is what we found when my husband and I sat down together to compare ours:

  • My husband’s money personality was Security, and his core belief was, “I never know when what I have may be taken from me.”
  • My money personality was Recognition, and my core belief was, “I’m alone and need to prove I can do it”. 

Both beliefs went back to very specific experiences we had when we were little. 

Mark witnessed his parents in a situation where they didn’t know how they were going to pay for something very important.  It shook his world because he had no idea that money was so tight.  Before that time, he had felt so loved, safe, and secure. 

My father drowned when I was six, and my mother had no idea how to handle the situation and ended up marrying a monster, which led to 10 years of abuse and fear.  I grew up terribly alone and felt no one was there for me.

Imagine putting two totally different people together who have no idea that their disempowering beliefs are still running their lives today, and it can only mean trouble.

The good news is that when Mark and I went deeper, we realized that we were perfect for each other!  A Recognition personality can take huge risks and can get into all kinds of trouble if they aren’t kept in check. A Security personality may worry so much about money that they hoard it and say things like, “We can’t afford it”, even when there is plenty. 

Knowing this, we were able to relax, share our feelings, and listen to each other without judging.  This new understanding totally transformed not only our relationship with money but our relationship with each other.

The biggest gift was to our daughters because they were able to see their parents working together in a loving way.  For example, instead of “We can’t afford it”, Mark would say, “We are choosing to spend our money differently.”  Much better modeling for our daughters.

When it comes to relationships, understanding your and your partner’s money mindset or personality creates a greater understanding of why you don’t always see eye-to-eye when it comes to money, plus it deepens your relationship and bond. 

Marriage and relationships aren’t always easy but understanding your relationship with money can make a significant difference to your happiness and finances.  If you are interested in learning more about your money personality, book time to learn more and to talk with me at If you want to learn more about money mindset and understanding your money personality, be sure to watch or listen to this month’s podcast on Smart Women Talk. 

Katana Abbott, CFP®, is a Retirement Income Coach and Certified Social Security Claiming Specialist, founder of the Midlife Millionaire® Solution, and the host of Smart Women Talk. For over 35 years, Katana has helped baby boomers plan for retirement, including how to create lifetime income, how to optimize their Social Security benefits, launch an encore career, and prepare for long-term care.  She has written several books, created a financial literacy course, and is a popular speaker. Katana has been honored by NAWBO as one of Detroit’s Top 10 Businesswomen, receiving the Breakthrough Award. To download her new retirement guide, Three Smart Strategies to Maximize Your Retirement Income, visit